For our first T-Shirt release, we have partnered with The Freedom Story, an organization based in the northern region of Thailand known as Chang Rai. The Freedom Story provides scholarships, mentorships and other resources to children who are at risk of being trafficked. By putting a focus on human rights outreach, The Freedom Story also prioritizes giving students the tools and resources they need to help protect themselves from exploitation and abuse. Jason, Co-Founder of Bold Moves Only, was fortunate to spend time interning with The Freedom Story and had a first-hand perspective of the tremendous impact this organization has been able to make. The Freedom Story has provided scholarships for over 220 students, while their resource centers and other outreach activities reach over 1,000 students annually.
According to the estimates of the Global Slavery Index, there are 425,500 people in Thailand living in modern slavery, and there are an estimated 60,000 children who are sexually exploited every year in Thailand. A significant number of these children are girls from the Northern region of Thailand where poverty forces many to drop out of school at a very early age. Uneducated, yet expected to help provide for their families, these children are lured into the sex trade. Along with poverty and lack of education, another significant push factor that leads to exploitation is social isolation. In Northern Thailand, this is partially due to statelessness, or when a person does not have an official nationality to any country UNESCO has identified statelessness as the #1 risk factor of women and girls for trafficking. There are more than 118,000 registered stateless people in Chang Rai as well as around 180,214 ‘hill tribe’ ethnic minority group members. The exploited and colonized people who live in Northern Thailand but do not have Thai citizenship are especially vulnerable to exploitation and face significant barriers to education, healthcare, land ownership and job opportunities. Through human rights education, scholarships and resources, The Freedom Story is working to break this cycles of poverty and exploitation. With every purchase of The Freedom Tee, Bold Moves Only will donate 20% of the proceeds to continue the great work at The Freedom Story. The Freedom Story lives BOLD, do you?
Interested in learning more? Check out their website here.